Karina Chronicles

Why a Karina Dress Costs $160: We Invest in Happy Employees

By Garnet Heraman, Karina Dresses Co-owner

This is one in a series of posts in which we break down why, exactly, our dresses cost what they do.  We really, really love our dresses and we think once you know more about all the behind-the-scenes work, you’ll love ’em even more.  If that’s possible.

Karina Dresses are a small part of a big change happening in the garment industry called “Slow Fashion.”  Slow Fashion is not just hemp handbags and recycled socks. It’s about YOU the consumer becoming aware of the whole process–from design through production through use and through the potential to reuse.  It also means buying less, caring for what you own so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill. And it takes an expansive view of “Green” production, one that views Made in America as the obvious choice for products sold here.  This post focuses on our employees and the importance of their happiness:

There’s an old saying in business: The things we make, make us. Long before the Jeep commercial championed the perspective, we were a country of craftspeople. Men and women for whom straight stitches and perfect pockets were a point of personal pride. And because of this, everyone here obsesses over how things get made as much as what gets made.

As you know, every last one of our dresses is made here on American soil.  This is only possible because each dress is handmade by a happy workers – happy because they are both highly skilled and fairly compensated. Unlike workers in Bangladesh or Cambodia, ours are not forced to do repetitive, soul-deadening single-task functions. Each sewer is familiar with all our dress patterns, not just one.  And each is expert in the construction of the entire dress, from first seam to final stitch.


This is really important because it restores something that has been absent in American industry for a very long time…pride. The pride that comes from a sense of joy and accomplishment in one’s work. Call it the Joy of Dress,  Happy Hands or whatever you will…but it’s a big part of what makes Karina Dresses so darn special. Can you feel it? We’re betting you can.

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Thank you for your support as we continue to build the company on simple time-tested principles:  Truth, Dresses & the American Way.

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